Hillary Baiamonte ’16 Interns with the International Trade Commission

November 30, 2015

Hillary Baiamonte

Hillary Baiamonte '16, a double major in Economics and Finance, interned with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington D.C..

Working under alumna Dawn Brown '01, Hillary completed research about the regulatory standards and conformity assessment bodies in India. She put together an illustration of the complicated and intricate relationships involved, which was subsequently incorporated into a recent ITC publication on trade and investment policies in India. We sat down with Hillary to talk about her internship experience.

Tell us more about the chart of regulatory standards assessment bodies you created for the ITC.

Standards are created by the Bureau of Indian Standards. However, the responsibility for creating technical regulations belongs to regulatory standards assessment bodies in India. Examples include the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and others. I created a diagram of these bodies. 

What was the primary concern of your research?

The concern was simple: Is India violating international standards concerning imports into their country?

What fact or anecdote from your research has stayed with you?

The new Modi (Prime Minister) government has a very extreme and extravagant promise for India. It includes opening 75 million bank accounts, building 100 million toilets, and building 100 “smart cities” by 2020. The goal of smart cities is to continue development and keep educated people in India. 

What drew you to economics?

Coming into Simmons, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I took an econ class as a fall back, since I took AP Econ in high school. And, honestly, it was Professor Carole Biewener’s passion and teaching style that made me declare econ as a major. Everyone should take an econ class.

Why did you apply for the internship?

In fall semester of my junior year, all the big companies didn’t seem to want to take a chance on me, since I had no prior professional experience. Then, through the Economics networking dinner, I heard about Dawn’s need for an intern and, as a Simmons alum, she took a chance on me. Working with an alum, you feel connected on a different level. Dawn took me under her wing and gave me good advice.

Describe your experience working at the ITC. Were there any important lessons that you learned?

I spent most of my time in a cubicle doing research. I learned that you can’t do all research by yourself. It’s important to network and reach out to others for information. I often asked the people I met at the ITC questions like, “Can you clarify this?” or “Where would you look for this information?”

What are your current career goals? Did your internship influence these ambitions?

Before, I had tunnel vision about being an investment banker or consultant. Being a double major, you need to experience the professional world in both areas. My internship helped me know that I love economics but need more human interaction and would like to deal with more quantitative information.

Can you share a favorite D.C. memory, or “Simmons Moment?”

I spent time hiking and backpacking. I was volunteering with the Appalachian Mountain Club, taking break from trail maintenance, when the woman next to me saw my Simmons water bottle and asked, “Do you go to Simmons? I’m a graduate!” There we were at the top of a mountain and she was taking a picture of her husband, who went to MIT.